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Amazon Tribes Reject Calls for Forced Contact with Uncontacted Peoples

Survival International
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May 31, 2016
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Tribal Voice - Olimpio Guajajara criticizes proposals for ‘controlled contact’ with tribes (Survival International)

South American tribes have denounced the call from American academics Kim Hill and Robert Walker for forced contact with uncontacted tribal peoples in the Amazon, warning of the catastrophic consequences such contact would bring.

Speaking in a video as part of Survival’s Tribal Voice project, Guajajara Indians rejected the idea entirely. Several members of the tribe, known as the “Guajajara Guardians,” have acted to protect nearby uncontacted Awá people in the absence of greater government support.

The leader of the Guardians, Olimpio Guajajara, said: “We are here… Monitoring the land and defending the uncontacted Indians and the Guajajara who live here. Why? Because there are some people, some anthropologists in other countries who want, once again, to violate the rights of the uncontacted Indians in the country.”

He added: “We are aware that some anthropologists have been calling for ‘controlled contact’ with the uncontacted Indians… We will not allow this to happen because it will be another genocide of a people… of an indigenous group which doesn’t want contact.”

The Guajajara are the latest of many indigenous peoples in South America to reject the idea. Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, known as the “Dalai Lama of the rainforest,” has long campaigned for the rights of uncontacted tribes to determine their own futures after witnessing the devastating impacts of contact on his people, the Yanomami, in the 20th century.

Read the rest at Survival International

  Check out Survival International: Uncontacted Tribes


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